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Gov’t To Ban Civil Servants, Politicians From Owning Stalls In Public Markets

Minister of Local Government, Raphael Magyezi (pictured above) is calling for the ban of civil servants from possessing stalls in public markets.

The Minister tabled the proposal before parliament’s committee on Public Service and Local Government to give the ministry’s views on the markets bill 2022 that was tabled before the committee by workers MP, Margret Rwabushaija.

Magyezi informed the Committee that they want the law to ensure that politicians, civil servants and public servants are not allowed to own stalls in  a market within their jurisdiction, saying that this will limit conflict of interest by people who are supposed to manage the markets.

The Rukungiri Woman MP, Midius Natukunda objected to the minister’s proposal, saying that councilors should not be excluded from owning stalls because this can be one way of earning a living since many of them don’t earn a salary from their political office.

 However, the Kiruhura District Woman lawmaker, Jovanice Twinobusingye disagreed with Natukunda, saying that there is need to limit political leaders taking up stalls in markets because if they leave it open, they might use their influence to own almost all the stalls in the markets.

The mover of the bill Margret Rwabushaija said that only councilors who had stalls in the market before it was constructed should be considered to avoid issues of conflict of interest.

 The PWDS Member of Parliament Joyce Acan said that if politicians are allowed to own stalls, public servants will think that they are being segregated against by parliament and it should be left open for everyone to own a stall as long as it is not more than one.

Magyezi informed MPs that the Bill is restricting one stall per vendor, saying the the problem of absent landlords in the markets is the cause of limited space in markets resulting into vendors turning to streets to operate their businesses.

 Natukunda however challenged the minister on the empty stalls in the upper sections of the markets which prompted the chairperson of the Committee, Godfrey Onzima  to blame it on the local governments who have failed to implement zoning guidelines  in markets to ensure that same commodities are sold on the same level.

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